December 22nd, 2008 11:20 AM by Lehel Szucs
Monday's bond market has opened flat with no relevant economic news on tap for today and a fairly uneventful morning in stocks. The stock markets are showing losses, but they can be considered pretty minor compared to recent sessions. The Dow is currently down 17 points while the Nasdaq has lost 20 points. The bond market is currently unchanged from Friday's close, which should keep this morning's mortgage pricing near Friday's levels.
The rest of the week brings us the release of six monthly or quarterly economic reports and a fairly important Treasury auction tomorrow. Most of the data being released is not considered to be of high importance to the markets, but with the Christmas holiday falling during the week we can expect very thin trading. We also may see profit-taking by some firms to capture the sizable gains in bonds this year as it winds down, so by no means can we be guaranteed a quiet week.
There is no relevant economic news schedul ed for release today, but four of the week's reports are scheduled to be posted tomorrow. The first is the final revision to the 3rd Quarter GDP. I don't think this data will have an impact on mortgage rates unless it varies greatly from its expected reading. Last month's first revision showed that the economy contracted at a 0.5% annual pace during the quarter and this month's revision is expected to show the same.
The next two are November's Existing and New Home Sales reports. The Existing Home Sales release will come from the National Association of Realtors while the New Home Sales data is a Commerce Department report. Both give us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand, however, neither are considered to be of high importance. Both of the reports are expected to show a drop in sales.
The fourth report of the day also comes late morning when the revised University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for December is posted. Current forecasts are calling for a small downward revision from the preliminary reading of 59.1. This is important because rising consumer confidence indicates that consumers may be more apt to make large purchases in the near future. An unexpected upward revision could lead to higher mortgage rates tomorrow.
The last event tomorrow is the 5-year Treasury Note auction. If the sale is met with a decent demand from investors, we could see interest in other notes and bonds such as mortgage-related bonds increase during afternoon trading. But, a lackluster interest from investors may also lead to weakness in bonds and possible upward afternoon revisions to mortgage pricing.
If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking pl ace over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.
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